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Who WE Are: Marybeth Russell

Marybeth Russell will never forget her first year at William Penn as a freshman, “I remember walking in and it was so huge!” she says. She started working as a co-op student in the District’s Business Office her junior year and after graduating in 1978 Russell spent a short time working for corporate America but was drawn back to the district she loved for one simple reason, “ because it has always been a friendly, fun environment.” Despite that, after 37 years and working her way up the ladder to become a specialist to the superintendent, Russell has decided it’s time to retire. While many retirees look forward to traveling or taking up a hobby, Russell has a very different aspiration…she wants to take on another challenging job…raising a new puppy! Still, cherry red and Black will continue to run through her veins. After all, her son and daughter went to Colonial schools from kindergarten until they followed in her footsteps as a William Penn grad. That’s not all, five of her six siblings also graduated from Penn, and one sister, Anne Marie, is now working as a secretary at Wilbur. Russell says the district’s Power of WE mantra has a special meaning for her, “ The Power of WE means Friends & Family – Delaware is so small, we always say ‘‘if you’re not related to them, you went to school with them.’ And then you’re working with them, or their kids, or their neighbors!” Russell, who has seen the district grow from the time when she used typewriters and mimeograph machines to computers and cell phones. She knows she’ll miss many of the great friends she’s made over the years, but wants people to know one thing about Colonial, something she’s the proudest to say,  “We care about your kids.  Every person that works here has in some way had an impact on at least one child.”